Sunday, April 11, 2010

Dying With Dignity

A phrase that is constantly used by the euthanasia movement is “dying with dignity”. The pro-life and euthanasia movements interpret the term dignity in two very different ways. The former treat dignity as something a person possesses according to the quality of their life. Thus many people in the Third World do not “have” dignity. However, the root of the term is the Latin dignitas meaning value or worth. Therefore according to the authentic (which happens also to be the pro-life) meaning of dignity those living in the favelas of Brazil possess dignity because they have value/worth regardless of their quality of life. In this sense “dying with dignity” necessarily excludes euthanasia. Why? None of us can claim responsibility for the value of our life. Because our value (dignity) is founded upon our life, we contradict our dignity by killing ourselves or by assenting to euthanasia. In other words by taking our life we take the foundation for our dignity. Hence only by refusing euthanasia can we really claim to die with dignity

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